Quarterly Update
August 4, 2017
Ninth Kapteyn Prize Awarded to Buxton School's Linda Burlak
Burlak (first row, second from right) is pictured with members of the class of 2017

Linda Burlak, a science teacher and academic dean at B
uxton School in Williamstown, Mass., has been awarded the ninth annual James C. Kapteyn Prize for excellence in teaching. She will receive a $10,000 award for study or travel to enrich her teaching, and the school will receive a $2,000 grant in her name. 

Currently in her 29th year at Buxton School, Burlak has taught biology and physics, algebra and geometry, and popular electives in marine science, astronomy and nature writing. She has served as a soccer coach, dormitory parent and college advisor; is a long-time member of the school's orchestra and chorus; and traveled with her students to the Grand Canyon region to explore geology, and to the Florida Keys to study ocean life.

[Read a profile of Burlak in the Berkshire Eagle].

"I teach because it gives me the chance to constantly learn -about myself, the larger world and the children I work with," Burlak wrote in a statement. "It provides the joy of sharing hairy Yeti crabs, quarks and gluons, walking motor proteins, the possibilities of life on Europa, and every other beautiful, weird, wonderful, logical and illogical thing I can think of with my students."

The James C. Kapteyn Endowment Fund was established at Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation in 2009 to honor the memory of beloved teacher Jamie Kapteyn, who over a 20-year career taught English and coached soccer and lacrosse at Deerfield Academy, the Williston Northampton School and Cushing Academy. The fund's primary mission is to honor its namesake's memory by recognizing and rewarding extraordinary educators.
Community Assessment Report

Berkshire Taconic's yearlong community assessment project hits a milestone this month with the publication of A Closer Look, a new report focused on five key themes for the Berkshire Taconic region. (See the message at right from BTCF President Peter Taylor). Many residents from our four counties contributed points of view on what matters most in their communities. Berkshire Taconic is using the report to establish and share a broad base of knowledge about the region today, and to help guide our thinking as we look to the future. Read more 

Opioid Abuse Subject of New Report and Second Year Grant

The Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, the Foundation for Community Health, the McCall Center for Behavioral Health and Berkshire Taconic present a new report on the impact of the growing opioid epidemic in Northwest Connecticut. The report looks at the origins of the epidemic, who is affected and what is being done to combat opioid abuse across the state and locally.

[Read the report].

Meanwhile, the Northwest Corner Fund at Berkshire Taconic and FCH have funded a second year of activities through the Northwest Corner Prevention Coalition. Led by McCall, the project uses an evidence-based approach to address substance abuse among young people that involves a cross-section of community members in prevention work.
BTCF Tops $3.3 Million in Summer Grantmaking
Berkshire Nursing Families received a grant for its lactation support programs

This summer, Berkshire Taconic has distributed over $709,000 in grants to individuals and nonprofits in the four-county region we serve and grants totaling over $2.6 million from donors with charitable funds at the foundation.

Funds with competitive grantmaking during this cycle include: Arts Fund for Region One; Fund for Williamstown; James and Robert Hardman Fund; New World Fund; Northeast Dutchess Fund; Northwest Corner Fund; five education enrichment funds; and 60 scholarship funds (see below). 

Select grant recipients include: Elder Services of Berkshire County ($9,000 for its insurance counseling and Meals on Wheels programs); North East Community Center ($10,000 for youth enrichment programs); Film Columbia ($2,500 for an afterschool filmmaking club at Germantown Central Elementary School); and 24 Litchfield County students to participate in summer arts programs at home and abroad.

View a full list of grants and grant recipients at www.berkshiretaconic.org/summergrants.
BTCF Donors Award 2017 Scholarships
Lorna Kessler is studying nursing through a grant from the Tabor Foundation Fund

Many generous donors have established scholarships funds at Berkshire Taconic, and our volunteer committees of local leaders review each student's application carefully. This year, we have awarded over 220 scholarships totaling more than $525,000 to young people with diverse interests who are passionate about continuing their education. View our list of 2017 scholarship recipients
Quick Links
President's Message
This month, we released a new report, A Closer Look, which synthesizes findings from our recent community assessment process. At a time when so much focus is on the national level, this report provides a chance to understand the trends and factors affecting our lives locally - in this four-county region.

The report presents a combination of key facts and resident perspectives across five themes that jumped out in our analysis. Through focus groups and surveys, we were able to hear viewpoints from over 2,300 residents.
Read more
In the News
Rural Intelligence: The Rural We: Peter Taylor

The Columbia Paper (Editorial):
Take A Closer Look

A Knight at the Mount: Amy Clampitt Memorial Reading 9/15

Andrew Motion, the poet-laureate of the United Kingdom from 2000 to 2009, reads a selection of his work at the annual Amy Clampitt Memorial Reading on Friday, September 15 at 5 p.m. 

Motion's most recent book is Coming in to Land: Selected Poems (Ecco, 2017). The (UK) Independent describes Motion as a "charming and tireless defender of the art form."

A co-founder of the Poetry Archive, which makes and acquires recordings of poets from around the world, he teaches in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and lives in Baltimore. He was knighted for his services to poetry in 2009.

Tickets are $12 or $10 for members of the Mount. Learn more 
Upcoming Grant Deadlines
September 15: 

We're Hiring!
Berkshire Taconic seeks a full-time Communications Officer to help facilitate communications, public relations and marketing for the foundation. Learn more
Investment Returns as of 6/30/17

Managed Pool
Managed Pool Benchmark*
Socially Responsible Pool
Income Pool
Minimum Risk Pool

Based on preliminary performance, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation's primary managed portfolio appreciated 3.2% in the second quarter of 2017, bringing year-to-date performance to 8.5% and outperforming the policy benchmark* by 110 basis points. Long-term, risk-adjusted results remain favorable, leading the benchmark over all standard trailing time periods ended June 30, 2017, which indicates complimentary asset allocation and solid manager performance. Over the latest 1-year period, the portfolio returned 14.5%, soundly outperforming the custom benchmark, which returned 12.2%. Since inception in August 1999, the portfolio has generated an annualized return of 6.7%, outperforming a global blend of assets (65% MSCI AC World Index/35% Barclays Global Aggregate Index) by approximately 190 bps per year with substantially less volatility. In addition, the portfolio's performance remained in the top quartile among its peer community foundations.

Total assets exceeded $126.6 million at June 30, 2017, with a distribution of 59.6% global public equity, 6.2% global private equity, 25.1% flexible capital, 1.1% inflation hedging, 6.9% global fixed income and 1.2% liquid capital.  

For more information on the foundation's investment performance and managers, please visit our website or contact Vice President for Finance and Administration A. J. Pietrantone  by email or 413.229.0370.

*The Managed Pool benchmark is calculated as a weighted average of standard financial industry 
indices in each asset class and appropriate to individual managers based on objectives.

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